tv Democracy Now Special Election Night Coverage LINKTV November 4, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
>> "california's gold" is produced in association with kcet los angeles, and is seen statewide on california public television. this series is endorsed by-- [music] they're some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring photographs ever taken. they not only capture the spectacular natural beauty of the american west, but they give us a sense of place, of scale. these photographs are bigger than life and were taken by ansel adams, who, over the years, became a true american icon. he was passionate about his life's work
and felt most at home in yosemite national park. his photographs of yosemite are, themselves, iconic. in fact, ansel adams' yosemite landscape photographs are some of the most recognizable in the world. but on this adventure, we've come in search of some ansel adams photographs that are not very well known. in fact, they are very obscure. very few people even know they exist. they have literally fallen through the cracks of time. now, to see these photographs for ourselves, we've come here to downtown los angeles to the central branch of the los angeles public library. that's where these wonderful photographs are housed, these ansel adams photographs taken almost 70 years ago, photographs that are still very much a part of "california's gold."
[music] well, the adventure begins. we have finally reached our destination, and here to greet us is my friend, carolyn kozo cole. carolyn, i've never known exactly what your official title was here at the library. >> i'm senior librarian, in charge of historical photographs. >> historical photographs because you know why we're here. we're here in search of the lost, the hidden, the forgotten, the kind of offbeat photographs taken by ansel adams. are those photographs here in your library? >> they are. and they've been here since 1960-something i think. >> all right. now, we actually know how long they've been here because you pulled out
these letters, and these letters themselves are historic. here's a letter from ansel adams, signed by ansel adams to the librarian of the los angeles public library, basically saying, "a number of years ago, "i think it was around 1939, "i did a series of photographs "for fortune magazine of los angeles" and when he moved to carmel, he says, "i had the occasion "to enjoy a thorough review "of my files "and i discovered the pictures which are enclosed." and then, he goes on basically to offer all of these photographs to the los angeles public library and says that "you can have 'em "if you want 'em. "if you decide "they have no value whatsoever, "please dispose of them in the incinerator." so, he didn't really-- he wasn't very excited--
>> no. >> --about these photographs, was he? >> he was not a los angeles person, obviously. he was san francisco, so it was not his favorite. >> this was probably not his favorite bunch of photographs that he had taken. and he actually even says here that he remembers that the weather was really bad the whole time he was down here. so, i don't think he had a very good time on this particular assignment. >> i think you're right. >> all right. but in response to that letter, mary helen peterson, who was the department librarian of the history department here at the library wrote him back and said, "we're delighted "to have the collection "of your photographs, "even though you say "they are not your best work. "they present an interesting "and useful study "of the los angeles area "in the late 1930s. "after all, mr. adams, "it would hardly be possible "to have all of your work
"equal your magnificent "and breath-taking studies of the sierras." so, mary helen peterson was a very diplomatic and complimentary librarian, wasn't she? >> we all are, though. no, she was great. she was great and i'm so glad that she recognized the value because some people may not-- may look at the photographs and not think that they're that special, and of course, we think they're fabulous. >> now, it gets exciting because here's the box right here labeled "ansel adams photos." we're opening them up and we are opening 'em up with jonathan spaulding from the autry museum. jonathan, you're not only the executive director of the museum, but you are connected very strongly with ansel adams. >> that's right, huell. i wrote a biography of ansel a few years back and i love any time i can find some of his work that i haven't seen before.
>> you're excited. >> this is great. yeah. candy shop-- >> because you've seen some of these but not most of 'em. >> that's right. ansel's published a few of these but by and large, these are very much unknown. >> and we're talkin' about hundreds of photos here because they arrived here at the museum in this little folder here, these tiny little photographs, and i think the negatives came along with them, but what-- these are very small. why are they so small? >> well, ansel was shooting documentary style, with a two-and-a-quarter camera, which was a roll film camera, that he used to travel light and be able to work quickly. he was on assignment and he wanted to be able to move through the city, so he uses this light camera. he's not known, you know, he's known for the big eight-by-ten, but he did documentary style photography and this is an example of that. >> all right. so he was here on assignment for fortune magazine and let's take a look, let's just pull one out
and take a look. here's one of a young couple at their front doorstep, kissing each other. it looks like one of 'em is goin' off to work. >> that's right. ansel was here to document the changes in los angeles as the city became an aircraft manufacturing hub in the late '30s, early '40s, and so he was photographing the life of the workers, going off to the factory, and that's them heading off in the morning. >> do you think that was a staged photograph? >> well, it probably was because it turns out the people in the picture are cole weston and his first wife. and cole was the son of edward weston and they were great friends of ansel, so i'm sure he used them so he could have compliant models. >> do you think they were actually working at an aircraft factory? >> yeah. yeah. cole was working then, like a lot of people, well, he was thrilled to have a job. he'd spent much of the '30s scraping by, and his dad was internationally known but not well paid, so--
>> as most photographers. >> yeah, yeah, so, he, like a lot of people, was thrilled that the factories were hiring. >> so, a lot of these photographs deal with the aerospace industry or the aircraft industry, i guess, it was called back then. you've got factory workers comin' in and out of the gates. you've got parking lots. you've got all kinds of pictures like that, that on the surface don't look that compelling, but they were telling a story. >> yeah, the story they were telling was the incredible changes in los angeles as the city became the aircraft manufacturing hub for the whole west coast. they were building for both the atlantic and pacific theatre, and lockheed where he did a lot of photography was growing, you know, leaps and bounds. so, he has photographs of parking lots, not 'cause they're compelling subjects but to show that the city was outgrowing its infrastructure. the magazine article was about how los angeles is coping with this change. >> building up for the oncoming war. >> that's right.
>> but even the picture of some of these cars, just like, look, here's one at a service station. it has its own look to it, the way he set it up, the way everything kind of fits together here. it's definitely not just a snapshot by an amateur. >> that's right. ansel was a great photographer and even though he disparaged this work in his letter to the library, you can tell the ansel adams' eye here is he has a fabulous sense of composition. and it was interesting because in these years, he had received a lot of criticism that he was off photographing the mountains and the rocks when the world was in this, you know, perilous moment. and dorothea lange, who was a good friend of his, really urged him to do more documentary work. so, he launched into this with a sense of that same spirit of the great documentary photographers of the '30s-- like dorothea lange-- were photographing life on the streets, and he really brought an ansel adams' eye to a lot of these scenes.
>> now, look at this great one with the good humor guy there by his truck. and there's another one of a guy at the little stand where magazine rack-- where you can novelties and things like that. i mean, he really did, in his own way, capture a lot of the flavor of los angeles during that period. >> absolutely. you know, he was from san francisco and he had a little bit of a san franciscan's eye view of l.a. he liked the-- poke fun at the city a bit, so there are shots of the crazy hot dog stands and, you know, miles of parking lots and-- but they're all done with a, you know, a brilliant eye. i think this shot here of the christmas show, you know, it looks like something that one of the contemporary landscape photographers would do. >> well, look, now there's, you know, i read the description that the library has written about each one of these photos 'cause they're all described. this christmas show ends up having a direct connection to world war ii. >> that's right. it was to raise money for the british relief
and there are a number of signs of the coming war in these photographs. there's a great billboard that was sponsored by anne morrow lindbergh urging america to stay out of the war, calling for peace, and so you can tell that the city's being pushed and pulled by all this global change goin' on. >> look at this. i mean, so many of these almost have a film noir look to them. is that a proper word to use for some of these because they're kind of dark, they were all shot, most of 'em, black and white? i mean, look at these from a bowling alley. very kind of dark in their own way. >> yeah, it's interesting. this was at the height of the film noir style, and ansel might have been motivated by the same things that those cinematographers were--which is to work fast and light and cheap with a single key light in a very dramatic lighting angle. and it might have been that he was thinking a bit about los angeles in that way, the kind of, you know, dark underbelly of the city thing
like raymond chandler would do. it's hard to tell. it would be interesting to ask him. i know he was doing a lot with artificial light at that time because he was teaching at art center college down here in l.a. he was working with artificial light more than most people would expect. >> why do you think he was so down on his work in this particular assignment? these are actually, well, i'm not sure they are because, see, i'm looking adam from a different light when i know that they're ansel adams photographs. >> right. >> if i thought these were just done by joe blo, i don't know whether i would be as intrigued by them as i am. >> well, that's right, huell. i mean, a lot of the appeal is the fact that they were done by ansel adams. they're really just straight documentary shots around the city, but there is a quality that ansel brings to his work. i think it's interesting because it's so much out of what people expect. it's not the ansel adams of the sierra nevada, and so the interest to me is here's this dimension to ansel
that people don't know about. it's definitely not his greatest work. they're not the kind of photographs that are gonna wind up in any museum, but they're incredible documentary records of our city. >> but looking at some of these photographs, i mean, here's one right here of city hall, which is iconic in itself, the los angeles city hall. then we've got pictures of the biltmore hotel, we've got the brown derby. so, he did do some landscapes. he probably couldn't help himself, could he? >> well, ansel loved the wide shot. and he recognized los angeles' setting, you know? he wanted to have some photographs of the wide open basins and the mountains and the icons of the city. and it's actually interesting to look at some of those shots across the basin because you see los angeles at a time when it's really starting to change. and the kind of sprawl that we had in the post-war period wasn't there quite so much. >> did he do a lot of work like this? this was a paying job. he had to pay the bills, didn't he?
>> yeah. before ansel became the household name that he is today, he was a working photographer. and he paid his bills through commercial assignments like this article for fortune. >> how well-known was he in 1940? >> well, he was on the cusp of really taking off in terms of public awareness, but it was more within the art circles. he had had some shows in los angeles and new york and san francisco, well-known in the art circles but he hadn't broken out to general-- >> so he wasn't a household word. >> he was not. >> had he done his iconic photographs of yosemite and yellowstone? had he done them by now? >> he was just starting the biggest assignment of his career. in 1940, '41, '42, he started his national parks project for the department of the interior, and that's where he made so many of those classic grand landscapes that you know today. so, at the same time he's photographing los angeles, he's about to embark on his most important assignment photographing the national parks.
>> so, this may have been one of his last corporate jobs, corporate gigs to help pay the bills before he broke out and became the world-renowned landscape photographer that he became. >> and he had a few after that, you know? ansel never turned down a paying job, and he did a few all through the '50s and '60s. even in the 1960s, he was doing annual reports, pg and e-- >> wait a minute. he was doing-- he was photographing annual reports, ansel adams? >> yep. he liked to work and he liked to get paid. >> so, he had a family to raise, he had bills to pay, he had film to buy. >> he had a young family at this point, a couple of young kids. and later, they were trying to go to college. he was paying a stanford education in the '60s so he needed to work. >> and here is the finished product. here's the fortune magazine. we're looking at the cover the march 1941 fortune magazine.
and we open it up and here it is. this is-- well, there are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11-- they chose 12 of his photographs and put it in this article called the "city of the angels." and it's interesting what this subtext is all about because-- you're right, it was all about building up to the war. >> that's right, "breeds its air power "in the fabulous empire of oomph." >> all right, now let's see what they chose, what the editors chose. this first one, "peace," what was that all about? i've never even seen this anywhere in l.a. what is this? >> this is over on the westside in some of those oil fields out by baldwin park, i think. and it's one that ansel reproduced pretty often. this is one of the few from this series that he really thought was a powerful image and it's this juxtaposition
of the contemplative and the industrial. >> "someone calls it home," this was a boarding house for war workers, for aircraft workers. >> right. l.a. was bursting at the seams and housing crunch was hitting, and one of the focus of the article is about how people were scrambling to find a place to stay. >> "to market, to market" and these two photographs show people out shopping. that looks like maybe in westwood or somewhere. and then down here, a motorcycle shop. then up here, you've got-- well, look, they've got "immortality." that's a funeral home there. there, the people standing in line to have lunch at the corner lunch stand; a trailer camp in santa monica. and then here is our couple at home. he rivets wings at lockheed. >> yeah. they were working in the factory and this is a couple
of ansel's friends here. >> now, turn the page, look at this. here are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight of his photographs for this article in color, in beautiful color. >> well, fortune was one of the early magazines to start working in color and they must've told adams to do some color work. of course, he was known for his black and white, but he started working in color in the '40s as the color roll film from kodak came out. this was 2.25" film. and a few years later, he was one of the first to use their four by five color. >> now, we're starting with a wonderful, you know, there's the los angeles city hall. here is the griffith observatory. this looks like a harbor shot, like down in san pedro or long beach or-- >> well, it looks like that. but actually, it's a back lot out in burbank. it's a movie set, probably the warner's lot. >> wow.
what was the idea of having the warner bros. lot in a photograph about l.a. preparing for world war ii? >> i think it was under the heading of ansel poking fun at l.a. but who knows? >> all right. and then down here, we've got one made in a market with produce. that's a beautifully contextual shot there. i'm talking like i know what i'm talking about here but-- >> you gotta get a job as a curator there, huell. >> "aircraft laborers homes. fifty dollars down." then, here again is your lockheed plant, lockheed aircraft corporation. and then, what is this? it says, "southern california scene, only the planes are missing." >> this is the oil well, it's out-- again, on the westside there. you know, the feature on the aircraft industry, what do they fly on, but-- >> i got you. >> --but the fuel. >> wow. you know what? i like the color. but there's something more captivating
about the black and white, isn't there? >> yeah. adams always felt that way. ansel was--shot color on assignment because the publishers wanted it, but his heart was in black and white. and he felt it had more of a graphic power, more of an abstract quality to it. >> now, i haven't seen these color pictures in your collection. >> we don't have them. they didn't show up with the gift. and i sure would love to have them. >> so, he didn't give these to the library. >> yeah. it's interesting now, they may be lurking in another hidden archive. well, that's part two of your show. >> looking for those color photographs. >> yeah. >> well, he probably kept them in different categories, didn't he? >> yeah. he may have donated them to the university of arizona in tucson. it has his archive. but i don't know. >> let's talk money here for just a minute. there are over 150, almost 170--what, 70-- >> around 170. yeah.
>> a hundred and seventy of these ansel adams photographs in this collection. now, mary peterson, the librarian, paid $150 back in 1962 for the entire collection. what, in your expert opinion, would these photographs-- these photographs that he didn't like at all, what would they be worth today on the open market? >> oh, i think, ms. peterson made a very good deal. and obviously, these are not the most collectible of ansel's work but any print by ansel adams goes for a couple of thousand dollars these days. so, these little small prints would--each one would be worth more than $150 that the library paid for the whole collection. >> so, what are you saying? what if i just-- what if i wanted-- i like this one-- >> well-- >> --of these two cars. that's a classic. don't you like that one? >> yes. i think it's fabulous. >> now, what if i wanted to buy
this off caroline, just a, you know, private deal on the side here? what do you think, you know, would be a fair price for a photograph like this? >> well, i'm sure caroline is not planning to sell. but if she were, i would think that $500 to $1,000 would be about a reasonable price for that one. >> for this one-- >> sure. >> --little print. is it just because it's ansel adams? is it because it was a print from the--when would this print have been made? when would this-- >> he probably made the contact prints soon after making the photographs, so probably 1940. it's an ansel adams print, that's its primary market-- >> wow. so you're sitting on a goldmine here. you could raise all kind of money for the library fund. >> well, we find that most people are just as happy with a great copy that we can make for them and sell to them. and we can make it this size or we can make it this size or that size. and all of that is on our website. and that's how we hope that people will enjoy our photographs by buying some
and they can enjoy them at home and tell the stories behind it. >> so they can get these off the web. >> the information is online on how to order them. >> right. >> so that's the best way. if they want it for non-profit, for home use only, you can pick them off the web. that's fair use. but if you wanna enlarge it, you know, if you want to give it as a gift or something like that, then you need to come through the, sort of the steps that we need to take. >> so, you can go through the legal steps-- >> yes. >> --to do something with that, and then you're keeping the originals right here. >> yes, we are. yes, we are. >> this is a great thing that caroline and her team has been doing over the past decade, really, is building this collection with an online presence through the work of staff and a lot of volunteers. and it's just an incredible resource for the history of los angeles. and what gets me is that ansel is a part of this. and i just think it's wonderful that he thought to donate this material. >> do you think that he would have any idea that these photographs
would one day be discussed the way they're being discussed today? he almost just threw them away. >> well, a lot of artists don't recognize just how seriously their legacy is gonna be taken. and he was just cleaning out the cupboards, you know. but people recognize that his contributions are something worth preserving. >> well, thank goodness they're here. congratulations-- >> thank you. >> --on having them in your collection. your assistants kind of stand watch over them every day too because i know you have a lot of photographs here. but these have to be some of the finest in your collection. >> absolutely. love to have them here. >> well, it was done as an assignment, as a paying gig back in 1939, 1940, but they are here today for everyone to see and enjoy this glimpse of pre-war los angeles and its people done by ansel adams years ago,
the little known and almost forgotten los angeles photographs by ansel adams, what a treasure. and if you'd like to have a copy of this particular episode of "california's gold" for your own personal collection or maybe you'd like to donate a copy to your local school or library, well, it's available on videocassette and on dvd. all you have to do is call 1-800-266-5727 and we'll be glad to send it to you right away.
november 4th. >> hello and nona melkonian with sfgovtv along with the legacy of women voters of san francisco i'm here to talk about measure j a ballot measure on tuesday november 4th before the voter measure j is an ordinance that will increase the minimum wage for workers as follows on may 1st, 2015, the minimum wage is $12.25 kernts per hour the minimum wage will increase to 13 days on july 1st, the minimum wage will increase to 4 days an july 1st, 2018, it will increase to $15 we are or
per hour and it will increase based on inflation measure j will apply to city employers employees and the serves public authority two types of employees under the angel of 18 working in a government subsidize apprenticeship program and over 55 working for nonprofits and with positions that our government subsidies these employees will get minimum wage of 12 there's $0.25 per hour with annual increases on july 1st, you 2016 based on flagrancy in you vote yes. you want the city to gradually increases it by july 1st, 2018, with increases based on inflation after that if you vote no, i don't want the city to
increase the minimum wage i'm here with jason elliott with the government affairs and a proponent of measure j we're also joined we herpes the president of the district merchant see organization sow accident onsite thank you. i'll to start with opening remarks jason. >> thank you nona and thanks to the league of women's i'll be brief measure j is a measure to raise the minimum wage in san francisco are you right now it $10.75 by july of 2018 that will be $14 per hour we need the equality in san francisco sits the issue of the day families leave inform everyday and this is one piece of the puzzle to make san francisco the city
that's more affordable to the one hundred percent. >> okay. so we see it as not helping people out that much at the end of the day the folks he earning 15 now will want to increase their income beyond that, and, secondly, the cost of doing business is going to there's a small business has to make a reasonable profit and if they pay the employees obviously the costs are going to have labor is going to go up so how dour make the adjustment it's going to be more to live in city at the end of the day it quo would be nice if we got breaks. >> justin do you feel this measure is a compromise between employees of small businesses. >> this is a compromise a
number of measures proposed earlier this year and ultimately one mile-an-hour placed on the ballot by mayor ed lee and supported by the board of supervisors a number of organizations that are supportive that of minimum wage did everyone this is that perfect, of course not henry has expressed concerns and merchant have a concern this is a minimum wage that takes stair stems up from the current 1074 asia minutes with the gratitude increase culminating over $15 an hour a gradual stairstep up to $15 an area complard to other proposals this is a measure it's fair to workers ervin the minimum wage and fair to businesses that have to pay it and fair to the san franciscans who have to live here in san francisco and henry would you
like to respond to jason's. >> this is an empty level wage for empty level for someone who is not qualified is going to be tough for a small business to bring people in and that will bring in the qualified people again getting back to the reaching out in was not consensus on the small business misinforms small businesses are afraid if that's the way i feel we're going got going to shop at our stores by at the end of the day what's going to happen costs are going to be up and people getting the rates now, when all said and done the be there is
not a great benefits. >> henry has concerned about the cost of living is there concerns and as proponents of this measure we share the concerns the world bank as recent data as recently as june of this year san francisco in coming quality is not in the upper equality this means raise for you wouldn't thousand people earning minimum wage or above is and trying to live here if passed including the people that and the workers will be taking home substantial amazes of money when i say subsequential perhaps $200 a week in the industrial
19th street plus in 2018 a worker will be taking home $185 more not much for people earning more than that but who is trying to survive not raise a family it is crazy but the federal benefit threshold are actually lower than than the living you could be earner too much to quality for benefits. >> henry thoughts. >> absolutely the other thing as jason said the minimum wage we're going to have competition in people outside you have san francisco that is $15 across the board everyone you have your online and amazons and google's delivering groceries and we're
competing with those folks it's being harder and harder for us to survive we are making a bed of income for everyone i see again, i'm talking about the entry-level you'll find the majority of people in the businesses they pay more than 15 already it's a an entry-level. >> thank you both for your comments i'd like to use a little bit of time for final remarks henry. >> yes. i don't think this income income is going to help with it comes to how's the rates are skyrocketing and there's no chronological our rentals are going up by way way more than the residential lake we releases when have no chance of the
winning so my financial word stout to the public go and shop local and think about the small businesses and get off your mobile dies and your ordering from amazon and shop local i urge you to shop local think about was it good samaritan does to the community and think about our wonderful city. >> jason final remarks. >> i know this is supposed to be a debate i couldn't agree more please go shop local and supporting our neighborhood cords that makes the city vibrate just a final word on the minimum wage henry has raised concerns about small businesses and merchant have with the cost of doing business those are real concerns we tried to address those by making that a gradual
raise that stair steps this is one step towards solving equality and this will not make housing affordable to everyone living in san francisco but a good step and hopefully many, many measures we can work together to make san francisco a place to live. >> we hope this discussion has on informative for more information please invest the san francisco website at sf election.org and remember early voting is available at city hall from 8 to 5:00 p.m. and vote is the city hall two we understand before the election if you don't vote early be sure to vote on tuesday